Esquerra says measures by the central administration are “slow and ineffective” and calls for more forceful management of the health crisis
“We urge the Spanish government to take more forceful measures to combat the coronavirus crisis” said Esquerra Deputy Secretary General and spokeswoman Marta Vilalta in a live-streamed press conference. Esquerra wants total confinement in Spain and a package of economic measures to alleviate the situation. “We cannot waste any more time; the Spanish government must act, just as Catalonia’s administration has done, and take effective measures to combat the pandemic,” said the spokeswoman. In particular, Esquerra demands:
- Lock-down in the region of Madrid and the most affected territories to prevent contagion.
- An immediate response to the request by the Catalan government to confine all of Catalonia. “We urge that the decisions we take from Catalonia to protect the citizens of our country are respected,” said Ms Vilalta.
- The implementation of economic measures: suspension of utility, mortgage and other basic service payments, which will help both the self-employed and SMEs whose day-to-day activities are being seriously affected.
“State measures are slow and ineffective,” said Ms Vilalta, recalling that the Spanish state has worse data than Italy or China, and the number of victims is steadily increasing. “We cannot understand why the region of Madrid has not been quarantined, just as Catalonia’s Generalitat government has done with some towns and cities,” she continued, stating that “such an important issue cannot be politicised; we need serious judgement, even if the decisions are complex.” She also made it clear that despite the recent recentralization of powers by the Spanish government, “it is necessary to continue with all the crisis committees and leadership by the Generalitat, which is the authority making the right decisions.”
Within Esquerra, responsible and exemplary steps have been taken in accordance with the recommendations of the Government. The party is therefore operating skeleton services: the vast majority of workers have been confined and are teleworking, and only those who work in Government and are leading political activity, such as Marta Vilalta, work away from home. “Confinement is not a whim, it is a necessity; We must all be responsible together,” said Esquerra’s spokeswoman, who also thanked the health and emergency staff for their effort in these very difficult times.